From Confederate Veteran, Vol. 11, #9 (Sept. 1903), p. 391
[excerpt of John Esten Cooke’s recollection of J. E. B. Stuart]...”Stuart’s delight was to have his banjo player, Sweeney, in his tent; and even while busily engaged in his official correspondence he loved to hear the gay rattle of the instrument and the voice of Sweeney singing, ‘Jine the Cavalry’, ‘Sweet Evelina,’ or some other favorite ditty. From time to time he would lay down his pen, throw one knee over the arm of his chair, and call his two dogs, two handsome young setters, which he had brought across the Rappahannock, or, falling back, would utter some jest at the expense of his staff. Frequently he would join in the song, or volunteer one of his own, his favorites being ‘The Bugles Sang Truce,’ ‘The Dew Is on the Blossom,’ and some comic ballads, of which the one beginning ‘My Wife’s in Castle Thunder’ was a fair specimen. These he roared out with immense glee, rising and gesticulating, slapping his officers on the back, throwing back his head while he sang, and generally ending in a burst of laughter.”
I betcha ole' Sweeney even used gut strings.
Piney Flats, TN